All of the miracles that Jesus performed held a specific purpose. Whether physical, mental, or spiritual, the three usually ran together. Those who were sick would be emotionally distressed from their affliction, and their spirituality would also in most cases cease or diminish. It is said that Satan cannot attack a strong man unless he is first bound. A strong Christian, then is made to fall through illness. It is in using the illness for his gain—to deceive and persuade—that he seeks to devour God’s elect.
When Jesus performed miracles of healing, He did so with the authority of God, much to the bewilderment of the Jews and commoners. He chose to heal many of the lowly, as they were the simple at heart and knew the Truth for what it was, without dissecting and murmuring against the acts the way the Jewish authorities did. Satan surely was in the midst of this, as he was stirring up the people to ignore the blessing of healing, having them focus instead on the legality of the law. He made many hearts grow cold with disbelief. And, he encouraged a self-righteous spirit, collectively. Such was the case when Jesus marveled at the real faith of some, further enraging the scoffers that they should be learning a lesson, since they were already obeying the laws and in the right ways. These bitter people took it a step further and would not accept anyone “different”, whether it were Jesus or a sinner.
Yet Jesus healed. He had compassion on all and the strong desire to accept as many as were willing to enter into His kingdom. In the miracles we studied this week, Jesus healed in a different way in each case, to demonstrate the love and power of God.
In looking at the death of Lazarus, the real lesson there was found in understanding that God has the power over death and life, and will grant eternal life to the faithful and resurrect in the same way he did for Lazarus. Jesus had no alternative than to wait until Lazarus had died before He could illustrate that point. It was also made abundantly clear of the nature of death as a sleep, for Lazarus never spoke about “Life on the other side” and why, if supposing for a moment to believe as many do he had been rewarded into heaven through death, would he be summoned back to this earth? That would have been punishment! And eventually he would have died at a later time—and who ever heard of someone getting into heaven not once, but twice?
Jesus touched lives, and the miracles gave way for testimonies which led to greater faith. Today, reading the stories still serves to uphold our own faith. In His day, Jesus used His gift as object lessons. It was what the world needed at that time in history. Today’s world is filled with such technology and knowledge that miracles are often overlooked, and unless faith is strong, miracles won’t necessarily bring a doubting heart to God. Miracles are not always granted, and sometimes take a long time, but the important thing is to know that God uses such times to build our trust in Him and to know that He can carry us through, even to resurrection day. That’s something that Satan can’t promise and therefore tries to ignore. With all his power, he sets road blocks in our paths, and knows which ones have the potential to successfully destroy.
We need a personal experience with God in our lives and a will to follow His commands. Only then will we be able to understand our mission on this earth. It’s all summed up with Hebrews 3:4. Simply put, if God built all, then to deny Him would be to deny ourselves. If we don’t claim to be on God’s side of the battle, there is no middle road and we are put on Satan’s side. There are only two choices, and only one true Victor.